Freight News, Sea

Shipping: The wait goes on

[ July 15, 2021   //   ]

The time container ships spend waiting on anchor for berths more than doubled since 2019, according to Port Performance Data from business analystics firm, IHS Markit. North America saw the biggest deterioration with vessels spending on average 33 hours on anchor in May 2021 versus 8 hours in May 2019.

For Northern European ports the average wait jumped to 30 hours in May compared with 13 hours in 2019, while the wait at East Asian ports increased to 15 hours from 10 hours two years earlier.

Some ports have been especially hard hit with Los Angles seeing container ships spend an average 215 hours in port in May, of which 89 hours was at anchor. The South Chinese port of Yantian saw a significant deterioration from 22 to 62 port hours from March to May 2021as it was hit with pandemic related bottlenecks.

Port delays are mostly attributed to surging demand, equipment shortages and other effects of the pandemic and are persisting as the global trade recovery is becoming more sustained and broader.

Associate director, maritime and trade, Turloch Mooney, said that the pandemic and surge in global trade had resulted in a collapse in global vessel schedule integrity.